Cut water connection of Shimla's erring hoteliers: HC

May 30, 2018 10:32 PM

Shimla, May 30, 2018: Continuing its tough stand against the civic authorities over its failure to provide adequate portable water to residents of Shimla, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday directed water connections of erring hoteliers be cut.

In its resumed hearing on the third consecutive day, a division bench headded by acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol expressed surprise when it was informed that certain hoteliers were not clearing water arrears.

"We direct the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation to immediately take steps for disconnection of water connections of such hoteliers, who have not yet cleared their municipal dues," the bench ordered.

"However, if anyone of the hoteliers volunteers to deposit the amount within two days, such disconnection be put in abeyance for such period."

The court was informed that within the municipal limits, there are 224 hotels and more than 527 water connections were allotted to them.

It was however told that this needed to be physically verified as there was a general impression among the public that water connections to some of the hotels were provided illegally.

Listing the case for next hearing on Thursday, the bench, also comprising Justice Ajay Mohan Goel, directed the Municipal Commissioner and its Engineer to personally remain present in the court and file the compliance report.

There was no end to miseries of the residents with protests across the city continued on Wednesday against the civic body. Cutting short their stay, even tourists started leaving the resort city.

The High Court on Tuesday suspended all construction activity for a week and said no water would be supplied through tankers to the VIPs, including judges.

Even the much awaited five-day annual summer festival of dance and music here, set to begin on June 1, has also been postponed by the local administration due to the water scarcity.

Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh said 14 MLD water would be procured from the Gumma pumping station per day instead of 11 MLD at present, a government statement to the media said.

The minister visited Gumma and held a meeting with local people and public representative of the Gram Panchayats of Dewla, Majheewad and Gumma.

He said the local people agreed for releasing water for 15 hours instead of 12 hours for the Gumma pumping station.

Have something to say? Post your comment